Global warming could be a boon to Russia, a European country could be overrun by organized crime and the U.S. and its dollar could further decline in importance during the next two decades, says a U.S. intelligence report with predictions for the world in 2025.
The report, Global Trends 2025, is published every four years by the National Intelligence Council to give U.S. leaders insight into looming problems and opportunities.
The report says the warming earth will extend Russia and Canada's growing season and ease their access to northern oil fields, strengthening their economies. But Russia's potential emergence as a world power may be clouded by lagging investment in its energy sector, persistent crime and government corruption, the report says.
Analysts also warn that the same kind of organized crime plaguing Russia could eventually take over the government of an Eastern or Central European country. The report is silent on which one.
It also says countries in Africa and South Asia may find themselves unstable and ungoverned, as state regimes collapse or wither away under security problems and water and food shortages brought about by climate change and a population increase of 1.4 billion.
The potential for conflict will be greater in 2025 than it is now, as the world's population competes for declining and shifting food, water and energy resources.
Despite a more precarious world situation, the report also says al-Qaida's terrorist franchise could decay "sooner than people think." It cites its growing unpopularity in the Muslim world, where it kills most of its victims.
"The prospect that al-Qaida will be among the small number of groups able to transcend the generational timeline is not high, given its harsh ideology, unachievable strategic objectives and inability to become a mass movement," the report states.
The report forecasts a geopolitical rise in non-Arab Muslim states outside of the Middle East, including Turkey and Indonesia, and says Iran could also be a central player in a new world order if it sheds its theocracy.
Decline in America's global power
The report, a year in the making, also suggests the world may complete its move away from its dependence on oil, and that the U.S. dollar, while remaining important, will decline to "first among equals" among other national currencies.
U.S. global power also will likely decline, as Americans' concerns about putting resources into solving domestic problems may cause the United States to pull resources from foreign and global problems.